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BladeRoom Group Limited v. Facebook, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

April 4, 2017

BLADEROOM GROUP LIMITED, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
FACEBOOK, INC., EMERSON ELECTRIC CO., EMERSON NETWORK POWER SOLUTIONS, INC. and LIEBERT CORPORATION, Defendants.

          COOLEY LLP MICHAEL G. RHODES MATTHEW D. CAPLAN KRISTINE A. FORDERER COOLEY LLP HEIDI L. KEEFE MARK F. LAMBERT Attorneys for Defendant FACEBOOK, INC.

          PROPOSED AMENDED LETTER OF REQUEST FOR TOM KINGHAM

          HOWARD R. LLOYD, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL ASSISTANCE PURSUANT TO THE HAGUE CONVENTION ON THE TAKING OF EVIDENCE ABROAD IN CIVIL OR COMMERCIAL MATTERS CONCLUDED 18 MARCH 1970

         To: Senior Master of the Queen's Bench Division For the attention of the Foreign Process Section Room 16 Royal Courts of Justice Strand London, England WC2A 2LL

         From: Howard R. Lloyd, United States Magistrate Judge United States District Court for the Northern District of California

         Re: Request for Judicial Assistance Pursuant to the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters Concluded 18 March 1970

         I. Information provided pursuant to Convention Article 3(a).

         A. Requesting Court.

         In conformity with Article 3 of the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters, concluded 18 March 1970 (the “Convention”), the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (United States District Judge Edward J. Davila and United States Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd presiding), respectfully requests the assistance of your honorable court with regard to the matters set forth below.

         The Court considers that the evidence sought is directly relevant to the issues in dispute and is not pre-trial discovery within the meaning of Article 23 of the Hague Evidence Convention, that is, discovery intended to lead to relevant evidence for trial. The evidence sought is to be used-and would be admissible-in the trial in California.

         B. Full title of action.

         The full title of the action in which international judicial assistance is requested is: Bladeroom Group Limited and Bripco (UK) Limited v. Facebook, Inc., Emerson Electric Co., Emerson Network Power Solutions, Inc., and Liebert Corporation.

         The case number of the action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California is 15-cv-1370-EJD.

         II. Information provided pursuant to Convention Article 3(b).

         A. Names of the parties to the action.

         The plaintiffs in this action are Bladeroom Group Limited (“BRG”) and Bripco (UK) Limited (“Bripco”) (together, “Plaintiffs”). BRG is a privately held company organized under the laws of England with a registered office at Stella Way, Bishop's Cleeve, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 7DQ. Bripco is a privately held company organized under the laws of England with a registered office at Stella Way, Bishop's Cleeve, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 7DQ.

         Plaintiffs are represented in this action by the law firm Farella Braun Martel LLP, 235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94104.

         The defendants in this action are Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”), Emerson Electric Co. (“Emerson”), Emerson Network Power Solutions, Inc. (“ENPS”), and Liebert Corporation (“Liebert”) (collectively, “Defendants”). Facebook is a publicly traded company organized under the laws of Delaware with a principal place of business at 1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, California 94025. Emerson is a privately held company organized under the laws of Missouri with a principal place of business at 8000 West Florissant Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri, 63136. ENPS is a privately held company organized under the laws of Delaware with a principal place of business at 1050 Dearborn Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43085. Liebert is a privately held company organized under the laws of Ohio with a principal place of business at 1050 Dearborn Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43085.

         Facebook is represented in this action by the law firm Cooley LLP, 101 California Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111-5800.

         Emerson, ENPS and Liebert (collectively, “Emerson Defendants”) are represented in this action by the law firm Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP, 1117 S. California Ave., Suite 200, Palo Alto, CA 94304.

         III. Information provided pursuant to Convention Article 3(c).

         Plaintiffs make the following allegations in their Second Amended Complaint (“Complaint” or “Compl.”), the operative pleading in this action.[1] Defendants deny they have engaged in any wrongful conduct with respect to Plaintiffs.

         Facebook provides online services that allow users to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what's going on in the world and to share and express what matters to them. Among other things, users can use the Facebook platform to upload photos and videos, and share comments and other content. Facebook stores this data in multiple data centers containing thousands of servers globally, including data centers in Prineville, Oregon (U.S.) and Luleå, Sweden. Compl., ¶¶ 2, 33, 50. Data centers are specialized buildings engineered to securely house servers, which have particular climate requirements in order to run without overheating. Id., ¶¶ 22-23.

         Plaintiff BRG constructs and sells data centers it calls “BladeRooms”. Id., ¶ 4. Plaintiff Bripco owns the alleged intellectual property associated with BRG's methodology for constructing data centers and licenses it to BRG. Id., ¶ 5. Plaintiffs call this methodology the “BRG Methodology.” Id., ¶¶ 4-5. Various aspects of the BRG Methodology are subject to patents, some aspects are publicly known, and other aspects are allegedly kept confidential or as trade secrets. Id., ¶ 4.

         The BRG Methodology uses “modular” construction techniques. Id., ¶ 22. Modular construction involves manufacturing some or all components of a building off-site and transporting it to the desired location, as opposed to traditional “stick built” construction methods in which materials are assembled and the structure is erected on site. Id., ¶¶ 22-24. Plaintiffs' alleged trade secrets and confidential information (collectively, the “BRG Alleged Trade Secrets/Confidential Information”) are contained in Exhibit B to the Complaint.[2] Id., ¶¶ 28, 29.

         In October 2011, BRG first contacted Facebook to promote its data centers. Id., ¶ 37. BRG and Facebook subsequently executed a mutual non-disclosure agreement (“NDA”). Id., ¶ 38.

         In March and June 2012, Facebook's representatives met with BRG's representatives (including Mr. Kingham) at BRG's facilities in Cheltenham, England. See id., ΒΆΒΆ 50-51, 60-61. Plaintiffs allege that, during these meetings, BRG ...


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